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In a lengthy new interview with the Guardian this week, Schwimmer addressed a few issues surrounding the blockbuster NBC sitcom, which is certainly not better than Seinfeld but has maintained a massive pop culture presence of its own thanks in part to a renewed interest by way of its longstanding Netflix availability.
When the topic of younger generations discovering the show and promptly criticizing its all-white cast and handling of certain storylines came up, Schwimmer defended the series with some thoughts on context.
"I feel that a lot of the problem today in so many areas is that so little is taken in context," Schwimmer, who called the show "groundbreaking in its time," said. "You have to look at it from the point of view of what the show was trying to do at the time. I'm the first person to say that maybe something was inappropriate or insensitive, but I feel like my barometer was pretty good at that time. I was already really attuned to social issues and issues of equality."
He also proposed some possible reboot ideas.
"Maybe there should be an all-black Friends or an all-Asian Friends," Schwimmer told the Guardian. "But I was well aware of the lack of diversity and I campaigned for years to have Ross date women of color. One of the first girlfriends I had on the show was an Asian American woman, and later I dated African American women. That was a very conscious push on my part."
For the full Schwimmer experience, which also sees the actor/director reflecting on a recent reunion dinner at Courteney Cox's house, click here.
The last we heard of a Friends reunion special was earlier this month at a Television Critics Association event during which HBO Max CCO Kevin Reilly assessed the likelihood as currently being a mere "maybe." The upcoming HBO Max streaming service, of course, will be the new home of the original Friends series once it leaves Netflix.